Marian Hossa scored his fifth goal of the season in the form of an overtime game-winner as the Chicago Blackhawks rallied from two goals down to defeat the Dallas Stars 3-2 on Thursday night. Hossa’s goal came on Chicago’s seventh power play of the night off a beautiful behind-the-back backhand feed from Patrick Kane, pushing the team’s record to a league-best 4-0-0.
For a while it looked as though Chicago might not be able to solve Dallas net-minder Kari Lehtonen, as the Finnish-born former Thrasher frustrated one attempt after another from the Blackhawks as they outshot the Stars 12-6 in the first period to no avail.
Cup hangover for the Kings? No - the time spent in the lockout eliminated that possibility for the Kings.
So perhaps it was simply the huge anticipation and emotional output that a team faces, raising a Stanley Cup banner to the rafters.
Two years ago, the Chicago Blackhawks stood in the Kings' shoes - except for the Blackhawks, the emotion of the moment was all the more poignant due to massive summer roster turnover. The Kings had almost none, beyond a player being traded this past week, and one of their assistant coaches who is now standing behind the bench for their Opening Night opponents.
The Hawks have been there, and were able to channel that kn...
As the season is about to begin, the TCL team of Blackhawks writers give their predictions for the abbreviated (2012-) 2013 season. (Writers are listed alphabetically.)
CHERYL ADAMS (@HockeyBroad)
Central division will finish: 1) Blues, 2) Blackhawks, 3) Nashville, 4) Detroit, 5) Columbus
This is going to be an interesting year in the Central. The Blues have proven persistent and should look to repeat from last year. It's a tough call between the Preds and the Red Wins, but the Preds are hungrier for the Cup and will look to prove themselves after finally breaking into the second round. It's a rebuilding year for the Wings after losing their ...
The CBA has been hammered out, the MOUs have been signed, and teams across the NHL welcome fans back into their buildings starting on Sunday as training camps open for the league.
It's long overdue for a lockout that should not have happened to begin with. While the fans eagerly flock back - as the league knew they would - they should not be taken for granted.
In Chicago, a number of Blackhawks supplemented by players like Mike Brown (TOR), Al Montoya (WPG), Ben Eager (EDM), and Troy Brouwer (WSH) have been skating at least three times a week since the lockout began. Kenny McCudden, skating and skills coach for the Chicago Wolves (AHL), has worked with the players at least...
After tallying up the 25 million votes submitted, the results are finally in: Claude Giroux will be on the cover of EA Sports’ NHL 13. The results were announced live at the 2012 NHL Awards in Las Vegas on Tuesday night.
Giroux beat out Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne in the final round of voting, and follows in the footsteps of recent cover models Steven Stamkos, Jonathan Toews, and Patrick Kane.
The tournament began with 50 cover vote candidates, and was eventually whittled down to 16 nominees, set up in a bracket format. Giroux surpassed such big names as Stamkos, Evgeni Malkin, and Anze Kopitar on his way to the final round.
As hockey fans gear up for the Western and Eastern Conference Finals, a few common themes among the remaining teams resonates: trap style play, tight checking, and a reliance on elite goaltending. Every year after the Stanley Cup is lifted, the champs are analyzed as to why they won, and other teams then spend time scouting youngsters and spend cap space on UFAs that resemble the Cup winning roster. The NHL is definitely a copy cat league. For the past five years, teams have been trying to mimic the style of play of the Red Wings, Penguins, and Blackhawks. After all, why wouldn't want you to copy what wins? But take a look at the puck possession-like teams that are eliminated: Detroit, Chicago, San Jose, Vancouver, Pittsburgh. Both Conference Finals will send shock waves through the NHL, and the Red Wings better be paying attention.
After Mike Babcock's puck possession team lost to the Oilers in '06, their style of play didn't change at the root, however; they were told me be more physical and work harder in the dirty areas. That paid off the next three years by making to the Conference Finals in '07, Winning it all in '08, and coming within 1 goal at a chance to win it all again in '09. Now, it sure seems Red Wing hockey needs to be re-evaluated. Ken Holland and Mike Babcock should be watching every game of the playoffs from here on out. The Western Finals have been settled, and it will feature the Phoenix Coyotes and the LA Kings. These two teams skate hard, trap, are defensively responsible, and heavily rely on their goaltenders to steal games. (By the way, is it not a coincidence that the year Phoenix lets Bryzgalov go they make it this far? He's never been a proven playoff goalie, and probably never will be.) The same goes in the East; The Devils (who are the definition of the trap) are waiting to face either the New York Rangers or the Washington Capitals. The Rangers have consistently been a defensively disciplined team with a couple of decent scoring lines, but overall block tons of shots and make things easy for their world class goalie Henrik Lundquist. The Capitals on the other hand, were born a puck possession team when they inherited forwards Ovechkin, Backstrom, and Semin. Since Dale Hunter took over as head coach, he has somehow got them to play a style of hockey whereby no all-stars are praised, but an entire team can reap rewards from teamwork. Players like Jay Beagle, Matt Hendricks, and Joel Ward are laying their bodies on the line for their coach, and Ovechkin is learning a valuable lesson.
Unfortunately, it came in game 6 in a first-round series where they were down 3-2, and they were up against a goaltender who was having the game of his life.
On Monday night in Chicago, the Blackhawks came out on fire. They grabbed a hold of the game, and put a stranglehold on it. They nearly had shots on goal into the double digits before the Coyotes registered their first; they blocked shots; they scooped the puck away from Phoenix with such ease that it was almost like watching an NHL team play against an AHL one.
This is the team that Blackhawks fans have been looking ...
As the sun was setting in Arizona and we were heading into the early hours of Sunday morning back in Chicago, a familiar hero took out his six shooter and blazed it in the desert. Jonathan Toews never ceases to amaze me and leaves me in awe. On a team that is filled with stars that shine so bright they could probably scorch the desert, he always manages to shine the brightest and reminds us why he is the one wearing the C on this team. I would follow this kid into anything. I would have loved to have been a puck on the ice when he gave his speech to the team minus the coaching staff following their morning skate. It must have been inspiring as the entire team played with focus and purpose...
The Chicago Blackhawks made a lot of mistakes in the first game of their series versus the Phoenix Coyotes, and corrected most of those in their second game on Saturday night.
It was an exciting game, starting with Bryan Bickell of the Blackhawks opening the scoring 3:05 into the first period, proving that Chicago's power play isn't entirely impotent. Raffi Torres tied it up for Phoenix just under 6 minutes later. When Jonathan Toews of the Blackhawks closed in on Phoenix goaltender Mike Smith, the puck on his stick, Smith put his hands up and made first contact. Yet Toews was the one who ended up with a penalty for interference, and then the Coyotes took the lead...
Going into the Thursday opener between Chicago and Phoenix, most analysts were split on their predictions. Several pointed out that the Coyotes had owned the season series between the two, 3-1; but just as many acknowledged that those games were not some of the Blackhawks' best hockey of the year. Mike Smith has been the difference-maker for Phoenix, while the Chicago goalies have had their share of struggles.
At the end of the day, however, these two teams have always battled strongly against one another, their different styles making for some interesting games.
After four high-paced opening minutes, Chicago captain Jonathan Toews put the first goal of the night...